Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair


=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?


The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  


However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.


Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.



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Bat571It would appear from the evidence of JJ, Noriega, and others that Cory Snyder seems to be able to help hitters with bat control, if not power. If Simpson has as much power as he is reputed to have, maybe giving him some pointers on bat control isn't a bad thing. He's young and getting him on track might be worth a few over-matched ABs - although he got a hit today.57 min 56 sec ago
Gordon GrossGLS - not really, though he is young and has nice (if sloppy) power in BP. Simpson was demoted to Everett, and he's been struggling. He's a younger, raw player, so they may just have wanted to get him in front of a third set of coaching eyes rather than promoting a non-prospect college player for a couple meaningless appearances.2 hours 54 min ago
Bat571I'm hoping the next few days bring a trade with the Nats for Souza and a DFA trade for Uggla. Stash them in Tacoma and let them battle with Montero for attention. If one or more of them can help, all the better. If not, Junior Lake is young and has upside, and the Cubs need some interim young pitching (Erasmo?) -- or go for a bigger fish. Hart probably has to show he's not going to revive (enough) before they make a major move, but news from LA sure makes it look like they may yet go for a trade of one of their OF. If either Kemp or Van Slyke becomes available, I hope JackZ jumps.4 hours 15 min ago
moethedogDario Pizzano has finally started to heat up at AA. Over the last week he's mashing. Going in to today, he's had exactly 138 AB's in both High Desert and in Jackson AA this year. His BABIP in HD was .293 (.330 in Clinton last year but is only .177 in Jackson. .177 is almost unfathomable. Anybody see Jackson play?5 hours 48 min ago
SpectatorBonus points: The last time the Phillies traded Marlon Byrd it was straight up for what player? [4-parter on Byrd coming. Probably tonight.] Hint: not likely to happen again.5 hours 50 min ago
GLSRe: Simpson - they must think pretty highly of his talent considering they started him in full season ball this year.5 hours 54 min ago
moethedogI figured it was something like that G. A shot drive to fill a very short term lineup need. Thanks.6 hours 10 min ago
Gordon GrossAnd moe, Montero has been DESTROYING the ball since getting sent back down. His July #s: .442/. 478 / .767/ 1.246. Apparently the pep talk about him getting back to the bigs with some improved showings in AAA is paying off. Must have said the right things to stroke Montero's ego the right way. As long as he demolishes the ball, I don't care. He wants another chance this year. Continued incompetence by Hart might get it for him.6 hours 11 min ago
Gordon GrossSome video of Deej and Gaby in the cage before the game, too. FWIW, DJ started at 1B in this game and had some nice plays defensively, and Kivlehan got an OF appearance on I think Thursday, so maybe the Ms are finally shifting both guys to their likely future positions (Not that Kiv can't play first, but neither dude is a third baseman). http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2014/07/13/video-gabriel-guerreo-and-dj-peterson-at-the-futures-game/6 hours 17 min ago
Gordon GrossWeird video of DJ's double, from an alternate camera perspective (AKA, upper deck on the 3B side). http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/73955164/v34566581/mlbam-tracking-tech-tracks-petersons-double/6 hours 21 min ago
Gordon GrossCorey Simpson should NOT be in Tacoma. They called him up from Everett, where he was demoted after getting crushed in the MWL. He's greener than pistachio ice cream and twice as cold at the dish. I think they called him up because something happened to Romero. I think he has the flu or something, so they don't want to promote a dude from AA and send him down in two days or whatever. Everett is closer, so they just drove Simpson two hours south for a coupla hours of humiliation. I wish Corey the best - back at his own level of competition.6 hours 23 min ago
moethedogHey Bat, I looked at the Uggla thing, too. He will come essentially free but he actually has a 50 pt career reverse split, so he doesn't give us much vL. He's on a 4-season, year-by-year decline, so he may have lost something significant.....but he did hit 22 homers last year (while batting a buck eighty). If you get him for nothing and stuff him in Tacoma to watch for a bit he's worth the roll of the dice, which is pretty low cost. I'm not betting that he finds his stroke again. I'm seeing a skills erosion process. But for nothing, why not? More spaghetti for the wall. Willie Bloomquist has now PH 110 times in his career. How many of those were for COF's who actually have revers splits?6 hours 33 min ago
moethedogIn Tacoma: Franklin with 3 hits, Montero with 2, Kelly on base twice (BB's) and who the heck is Corey Simpson and why is he in Tacoma?6 hours 47 min ago
Gordon GrossDJ Peterson played in the Futures Game today. Before the game, the sound guys caught him telling Bryant, "I just don't wanna strike out." So in his first AB he grounded out to the left side of the infield (making better contact than either Bryant or Gallo, who K'ed). Second AB? Slammed a double off the LF wall, Edgar-style. It was pretty. Still not against major-league pitching... but give it a year, maybe year and a half, and we'll see.7 hours 15 min ago
bumkusOK, let&#039;s really go out of the box. What would it take to get Ichiro back from the Yankee? No, he is not RH power, but he could plug into any OF position and the leadoff slot better than anyone we have on the roster right now. Not to mention he has the heart of a champion and the love of Seattleites. BTW, who would replace James Jones if he gets hurt? JJ has done for the offense what CY has done for the pitching staff - stabilized a position of weakness and made it a little better than league average. Bring Ichiro back.7 hours 33 min ago
Bat571Kelly for Ackley by Friday!8 hours 35 min ago
Bat571And watching Ackley whiff with Morrison on 2nd and Cano on 3rd, I wish the A's had some fear of the lower part of the Ms order, and his play on Lowrie's double makes it look like he needs a change of scenery soon.9 hours 1 min ago
Bat571I suspect at this point, Uggla's a ~ RH 2010 Matt Stairs - but what if he could be a RH 2013 Raul Ibanez (without as much time in the field)?9 hours 8 min ago
Bat571In the previous shouts on Uggla, put all "coulds" in italics -- I recognize it's a lottery ticket, but it seems to me the Ms need RH power for this season and next (until Deej/? are ready).9 hours 16 min ago
Bat571We need Kelly, too, but a proven RH hitter who recovered his stroke and confidence as a DH could solve some problems. And though Uggla's a limited fielder, he HAS played all the IF positions at one time or another, so has some bench cred.9 hours 21 min ago